IMLA terms withdrawal from high LTVs a responsible decision

Mortgage

The trade body noted regulation could also be restricting lender activity, but there was willingness to return to high LTV lending

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) has explained lenders are making “responsible decisions” to support existing customers and maintain service levels by withdrawing from high loan-to-value (LTV) lending.

The trade body noted regulation could also be restricting lender activity, but added there was willingness to return to high LTV lending and the demand was a positive sign.

Brokers said they understood lenders wanted to protect service levels with staff limitations, but feared that a lack of mortgage availability could lead to a self-inflicted house price fall.

IMLA executive director Kate Davies noted that as lockdown measures had started to ease and the housing market reopened, several lenders had taken steps back into 90% LTV lending. However, it has since become clear that there is a particularly high level of demand in the market for high LTV mortgages, which has led some lenders to temporarily withdraw their products.

Kate said these are responsible decisions which reflect lenders’ commitments to supporting their existing customers and ensuring service levels are unaffected by a surge in application volumes. Providers are also limited by regulation on the amount of higher LTV lending they are able to conduct. However, lenders will be eager to return to this area of the market when service levels allow.

Lending at 90% and above is vital for first-time buyers and borrowers with smaller deposits, and the pent-up demand we are seeing is certainly a positive sign for the mortgage market as we emerge from this crisis, she added.